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May 2010 Archives

Motion to Suppress Granted in Possession of Firearm By Felon Case because of Argument on Lack of Probable Cause

I am very pleased to note that the Somerset County Superior Court granted our Motion to Suppress in a case where our Client was charged with a felony Possession of Firearm by a Felon and Cultivating Marijuana. The search of our Client's house came after a search warrant was issued and granted by a Magistrate Judge. We attacked the probable cause in the warrant affidavit based on the lack of reliability in the confidential informat's statements. The Court agreed, and granted our Motion to Suppress and Dismiss.You can read my Memorandum in Support of the Motion to Suppress and Dismiss by clicking here.You can find out more about Zerillo Law, LLC and Tim Zerillo by clicking here.

Informal Adjustment in Juvenile Terrorizing Case

I am happy to note that we were able to achieve an informal adjustment in a Terrorizing case involving a bomb threat at a school by our client. With the informal adjustment, the case will not go to court, our client will do 30 hours of community services and the case will be dismissed. To find out more about erillo Law, LLC, visit our website by clicking here.

News: Sentencing in Cassidy Arson Case

From the Portland Press Herald, sentencing in the Cassidy arson case. To hear how Zerillo Law, LLC can help you, please call us at 207-775-4255 or visit our website by clicking here.Posted: 12:00 AM
Updated: 1:35 AM Man gets eight years for string of arsons
Thomas Cassidy accepts responsibility for setting 15 cars on fire, saying 'I just want to get past this.'
By David Hench dhench@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer
PORTLAND - Thomas Cassidy stood before Superior Court Justice Jeffrey Moskowitz on Wednesday and said the hardships that led him to steal for his family, the drugs that helped him cope with his problems, were no excuse for the mistakes he had made.Cassidy, 21, said he alone is responsible for setting fire to 15 cars in 2008, an unprecedented string of arsons on Portland's peninsula that caused more than $500,000 worth of damage to the vehicles and nearby buildings."I'm pleading guilty because I want to take responsibility," he said. "I just want to get past this."Moskowitz sentenced Cassidy to eight years in prison and four years on probation, less than the 10 years prosecutors had recommended. He also was ordered to pay $11,780 restitution for uninsured property losses.Moskowitz said that he was impressed by how Cassidy accepted responsibility, and that he believed his remorse was sincere.The judge said it was the first time in more than 20 years on the bench that he had seen a defendant ask the courtroom media to carry an apology to his victims, people who lost their homes or lost jobs because they had no way to drive to work."I can't diminish the gravity of the offense, and anything less than eight years would do that," Moskowitz said. "I don't feel good about it at all."Cassidy's family and his lawyer, Leonard Sharon, were persuasive in their bid for leniency.Cassidy's older brother, Granier Cassidy, blamed himself for moving to the West Coast and leaving Thomas to care for the family after their father committed suicide."He was always such a good kid," Granier Cassidy said, weeping.Cassidy's mother told of how he cared for her after she was seriously injured in an assault. She worried that her cynicism, a product of her own difficult life, may have contributed to his behavior.On April 11, 2008, Cassidy set out at 4 a.m. on Sherman Street. For nearly two hours, he wandered across the peninsula setting fire to cars, sometimes breaking into them and stealing items.Some of the car fires spread, including one at 141 Sherman St. that ignited an occupied six-unit apartment building.Assistant District Attorney Deb Chmielewski described how one of the occupants, a disabled woman, called emergency workers for help because she couldn't get out.Fortunately, Chmielewski said, nobody was hurt.Cassidy was spotted near the scene of one of the last fires, and was found to have items that had been taken from one of the cars.Cassidy ultimately pleaded guilty to 21 felony counts of arson. He says he has no memory of starting the fires, only of waking up in a puddle of vomit to the sound of fire engines.Cassidy's inability to know why he set the fires makes it hard to be sure he won't do it again, the judge said.The overall sentence was 22 years, with all but eight years suspended. If Cassidy violates probation after his release, he could be ordered to serve the entire sentence.One person who spoke on behalf of Cassidy was his fiancee, Alicia Brown.Brown and Cassidy have a daughter, born in April. They considered having an abortion but decided to keep the baby.With time off for good behavior in prison, Cassidy could be released as his daughter is entering school."My (biological) father was never there when I was growing up. I don't want to be that guy," Cassidy said. "taking this plea, I know it may take time, but I will be there for my kid."

Kidnapping Dismissed for Plea to Misdemeanor Assault and 2 Days Time Served

I was very pleased to achieve an excellent result for our client in a previously highly publicized case out of Oxford County. The charges were originally Kidnapping (Class A Felony) and Assault (misdemeanor, Class D). With exhaustive pre-trial preparation from our skilled investigators, we were able to establish that the Class A Kidnapping charge was inappropriate. The DA agreed today to dismiss the Kidnapping, in exchange for a misdemeanor Assault, with 2 days in custody (time already served) and a $500 fine. This was a great result for our client. We are revamping our website, which will have a new Kidnapping page soon, since we do a lot of work in this area. To learn more about how Zerillo Law, LLC can help you out if you have legal problems, you can find our website if you click here. --Tim

Federal Motion for Reconsideration Release From Detention

From time to time, I like to post motions we file, if they are short enough to fit in the space of a blog, about cases of interest. Enclosed is a pending Motion for Reconsideration of Release from detention in a federal possession of firearms by a felon case. This Motion is pending. Predecessor Counsel lost the bail hearing. We were hired and are trying to get our client released. For more information on Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MAINEUNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. ****************, Defendant. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF ORDER OF DETENTIONNOW COMES the Defendant, ***********, who by and through Undersigned Counsel, respectfully moves this Honorable Court for the entry of an Order, granting his Motion for Reconsideration of his Order of Detention. The reasons for this Motion are set forth below:1. On ********, the Honorable John Rich, United States Magistrate Judge, ordered the Defendant remanded to custody after a detention hearing in which he was represented by Predecessor Counsel, ********. The Defendant submits that he would like the opportunity to present new evidence that may cause the Court to grant release from detention in this case. 2. Title 18, United States Code, Section 3142(b) provides for pretrial release on personal recognizance or on an unsecured bond. It states that:
The judicial officer shall order the pre-trial release of the person on his personal recognizance, or upon execution of an unsecured appearance bond in an amount specified by the court, subject to the condition that a person not commit a federal, or local crime during the period of his release, unless the judicial officer determines that such release will not reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required or will endanger the safety of any other person or the community.3. Title 18, United States Code, Section 3142(f) provides for a review of the detention hearing. It states that:The hearing may be reopened before or after a determination by the judicial officer, at any time before trial if the judicial officer finds that information exists that was not known to the movant at the time of the hearing and that has a material bearing on the issue whether there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of any other person and the community.4. In its Order on Detention, this Court concluded that Defendant did not provide a flight risk, but that he was a risk to his current wife and ex-wife. Likewise, there was a concern that ********'s mother was unable because of her age to be his third party custodian. The Court also found that the risk of harm to ********'s current wife and ex-wife was more acute based on his facing a substantial period of incarceration.5. Part of the reasoning for detention appeared to be the confession by ********. A recording of the confession has been secured and now reviewed by the Undersigned. After hearing the recording, it is clear that ********'s "confession" will be the subject of a Motion to Suppress on at least two grounds: 1) the Defendant asserted that he wanted to stop answered questions prior to confessing, which was not scrupulously honored by law enforcement, and 2) the Defendant was promised that no charges would be brought if he informed law enforcement that he possessed guns. Therefore, the "confession" should not be considered as a part of the detention determination in light of the fact that the records reveal that suppression of the confession may be in the offing. 6. If released from custody, ******** would reside at his sister's, ********, in ********, Maine. The Affidavit of ********, is attached to this Motion for Reconsideration. ******** can provide Defendant a house outside of the close proximity of ********, which was part of the Court's concern about releasing Defendant. This new opportunity would place ******** outside of reasonable proximity of his wife.7. ******** would remain at the home of ******** in ********, Maine unless he has an appearance in court, a reporting requirement with Pretrial Services, a doctor's appointment for himself or his mother, or for the purpose of employment. He would abide by the conditions of all Protection from Abuse Orders. 8. ********'s mother is currently undergoing radiation treatment for cancer. He would like to be able to assist her in her medical appointments, when possible.9. ******** does not have a passport, and is not a flight risk.10. He agrees not to possess any firearms until this matter is resolved and the court formally orders that he may do so.11. He agrees to avoid all contact with his current wife, ********, or ex-wife, ********.12. He agrees to refrain from excessive use of alcohol.WHEREFORE, the Defendant ******** prays that this Honorable Court grant his Motion to Reconsider Detention in this case and order an appropriate bond so as to secure his release from custody as he has no significant criminal convictions, is a lifelong resident of this area, and has close family ties.Dated the 13th day of April, 2010, in Portland, Maine.Respectfully submitted,/s/ Timothy E. Zerillo
Counsel for Defendant
103 Exchange Street
P.O. Box 17721
Portland, Maine 04112
(207) 775-4255